Friday, June 18, 2010

Request: What do you think poets should know when they are starting out?

Hmmm, this will definitely be a list answer!

What do you think poets should know when they are starting out?

1) Poetry may not make you wealthy in material goods, but it will make you rich at heart.

2) You may spend an entire day on putting in a comma and taking it out and that's okay.

3) It may always feel weird to call yourself a poet.

4) The best way to learn is to read poets who are publishing today.

5) It's better to say poetry as a way to make a life than a way to make a living.

6) You will send out your work before it's finished, and that's okay too 
(I think we all did and sometimes still do!)

7) You will probably be over-confident about your skill when you begin 
and think you are pretty darn good. It's similar to a teenager learning 
how to drive, just because you are behind the wheel doesn't mean you've
earned your (poetic) license yet.

8) They don't really give out poetic licenses, that was a joke.

9) You should buy as many books as you do manuscript submissions.

10) Every poem is practice and will help you get to your next better poem.  

11) Don't be afraid to make mistakes or to write poorly.  
We can't start out at and be brilliant at something.  
Just as you wouldn't pick up a toothbrush and call yourself a dentist, 
you can't pick up a pencil and immediately be a writer.  
There is some learning and practice involved.

12) If you are being called to write, then you should write.

13) Art is important. Poetry is important. Just because something 
doesn't earn you a lot of money doesn't mean it's not valuable, it is.

14) Trust your instincts.

15) Always believe you have a greater purpose. It might be poetry.  
It might be something else, but give yourself quiet each day to listen 
and follow your own particular path.

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